Lady Lake is a popular panfish lake in Todd County, providing bluegill and black crappie fishing all year round. The lake is lightly developed due to the abundance of marsh areas and cattail fringe around the shoreline. Water clarity was good for a lake in this area of the State with a reading of 13.4 feet. Steep drop-offs, weedlines, and several underwater humps provide plenty of fishing structure. The lake supports a variety of fish species in addition to bluegill and crappie that may interest anglers, such as largemouth bass, northern pike, walleye, and bullheads.
The bluegill population in Lady Lake looks to be in excellent condition in both numbers and size. A significant portion of both the summer and spring catches consisted of fish over seven inches with quality size fish up to ten inches documented. Black crappie have been a difficult species to sample in Lady Lake, but quality size fish over nine inches were observed in the various 2011 sampling efforts. The lake also has a good bass population with some trophy size fish present although anglers are likely to see an average size of around 12-13 inches. Northern pike numbers appear to have increased since the last survey in 2005, which may have a negative effect on the fish community. The summer catch was dominated by small pike less than 21 inches in length, so keeping them off of your line could be a challenge. Anglers should feel free to harvest surplus small northern pike. Lady Lake's walleye population appears to be self sustaining though either natural reproduction or immigration from Big Swan Lake. Population abundance has remained relatively stable and appears to be dominated by larger fish as all the walleye caught in the summer survey were over nineteen inches in length. Yellow perch abundance, which was low in the last survey, continues to decline. Low numbers of perch could have a negative effect on growth rates in the gamefish. Yellow bullhead were the only bullhead species caught in the summer survey, however, both brown bullhead and yellow bullhead were sampled in a 2011 spring assessment. Some quality size individuals were observed of both species. Other fish species in the fish community include pumpkinseed sunfish, rock bass, and bowfin or dogfish.
The wetlands around Lady Lake have helped to filter pollutants and sediment coming from the surrounding watershed thus improving the quality of water entering the lake. Minimizing impacts to the emergent vegetation around the lake while enjoying your lakeshore property is encouraged to help filter the water and nutrients before entering the lake. Anglers are encouraged to release larger northern pike, walleye, and largemouth bass along with practicing selective harvest of panfish to help sustain the quality and balance of the fish community. Harvesting the smaller northern pike will decrease the predation pressure on the yellow perch and support better growth rates in the remaining pike.